Sandplay’s Unitive View by Alexander Shaia, V. 10 #2 is available on-line at

The editorial staff will select one paper each issue for our new forum.

About us


The International Society for Sandplay Therapy is a non profit association which was formed in 1985 to continue the development of sandplay therapy as formulated by Founder Dora M. Kalff. ISST provides a meeting ground for the international exchange of knowledge and experience in sandplay. Chapters exist in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Japan, United States of America and Switzerland.

Mission Statement

Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) is a nonprofit organization established to train, support, and promote professional development in sandplay therapy in the tradition of Dora Kalff as based on the theories of C.G. Jung.

STA associates

STA Associates are interested in gaining knowledge in the rapidly growing field of sandplay and in keeping abreast of organizational developments in STA.

Benefits of becoming an Associate to STA include a subscription to the biannually published Journal of Sandplay Therapy, The Link Newsletter and discounts to STA sponsored conferences. Please visit the Associates web page.

Become an Associate on-line! Checks are made payable to "Sandplay Therapists of America." Foreign checks must be in American dollars drawn by a U.S. paying agent. (For information on paying by credit card, please email or call 925/825-9277 for details.) Send to:

  • Sandplay Therapists of America
  • P.O. Box 4847
  • Walnut Creek, CA 94596

STA outreach program

Sandplay Therapists of America is pleased to offer an opportunity for education in sandplay therapy to small groups of therapists who, because of their geographical location, do not have ready access to training opportunities. STA would like to assist in this pursuit of sandplay training and consultation, personal work, and connection to the STA network. STA is responding to these groups with the Outreach Program. Upon request, STA will work with the group representative to arrange a visit by an experienced STA teacher. This teacher could provide an overview of the history and philosophy of sandplay, expl ain the International Society for Sandplay Therapy training guidelines, and assist in structuring study groups, consultation visits, personal work, and connections with other STA members. In this way, each group will have support in whichever way or on wh ichever level is needed. Sandplay Therapists of America continues to sponsor experience and training In a way that honors the integrity and commitment that makes sandplay unique.

Another Major Heading

Training Guidelines

A. As a result of the training, one will be eligible for membership in the Sandplay Therapists of America and the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (Founder: Dora M. Kalff); entitling one to use Sandplay in the sense of its founder, Dora M. Kalff. Sandplay Therapists of America (STA) is an affiliate of the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (ISST). Membership in ISST is attained through membership in STA.
B. The training is understood as a supplementary training.

A. Applicants for training are expected to show evidence of having the following qualifications:
1. A university education in medicine, psychology, pedagogy, theology, clinical social work or marriage and family counseling.
a) Persons not having this type of university education, but who can demonstrate adequate educational background, will also be considered.
b) Knowledge of psychopathology, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy which shall preferably have been achieved by formal study and applied clinical experience with patients/clients.
c) Evidence of having had some in-depth inner development and insight; such as can be achieved in the experience of personal analysis or psychotherapy.
B. A personal sandplay process which can be done with any member of ISST.
C. Licensure to practice psychotherapy in states and regions where licensure is required.
D. Exceptions to the qualification for training may be made in exceptional circumstances.


A. Stated requirements are minimum. Additional hours in some areas may be needed and may be recommended by the Advisory Committee.
B. Personal Experience:
1. Having experienced a personal sandplay process with a member of ISST is fundamental and required. This should lead to an experience of the particular possibilities of sandplay for helping to unfold one's own self-realization. Trying to state the minimum number of hours in which this can occur is not appropriate. The emphasis has to be on the fullness or wholeness of the experience.
2. If possible, it is recommended that the personal sandplay experience precede regular attendance at seminars on sandplay, in order to safeguard the spontaneous character of this experience. It is recommended that one's personal sandplay experience will precede one's use of sandplay as a therapeutic technique with clients.
C. Seminars and Workshops:
1. A minimum of 100 hours at seminars or workshops led by an STA/ISST Teaching Member is required. These must be seminars designed specifically for training in sandplay. At least half of these hours should consist of participation in the presentation and discussion of sandplay cases. The remaining hours would be expected to consist of instruction in theory, for example, Jungian Theory, Symbolic and Mythological Studies.
2. Additionally, group consultation hours with an STA/ISST Teaching Member are acceptable toward fulfilling this requirement. These hours would consist of time during which the applicant participated in a group of not more than four persons (plus the Teaching Member), in which another person was presenting a case.
D. Individual Consultation:
1. A minimum of 30 hours of consultation with an STA/ISST Teaching Member is required. At least half of this requirement must be in individual sessions. The remaining hours may be obtained in groups of not more than four, plus the Teaching Members. Only hours in which an applicant presents a case may be counted toward meeting this requirement. Group consultation hours used to complete the seminar and workshop requirements, are not usable here.
E. Preliminary Papers:
1. During the course of training, two Preliminary Papers are required. Each paper must be a minimum of ten pages in length. At least one paper must be an in-depth exploration of a symbol or of an archetypal image or theme. The other paper may be about some aspect of sandplay that is of special interest to the applicant. One will be required prior to submitting an Application for Membership. Any STA/ISST Member may read and approve Preliminary Papers.

A. As of April, 1996, the Advisory Committee interview is held before the final case study is written and when an applicant has:
1. Completed a sandplay process,
2. Completed at least half the required seminar and consultation hours,
3. Completed and received approval of at least one Preliminary Paper.
B. For those who have completed both papers, the interview is still held prior to writing the final case report.
C. Applications received by January 15th will be processed by the Advisory Committee for interviews during the year. Applications received after January 15th will be processed by the Advisory Committee and, if possible, the applicant will be interviewed during the year.

A. At the conclusion of the training, and following the interview with the Advisory Committee, submission of a written case report is required as part of the application for membership. This case should consist of written text with photos of each session and a release form signed by the pseudonym of the client/patient. There should be no more than 40 pages of written text.


A. Exceptions to the course of training may be made in exceptional circumstances. Exceptions will not be made regarding doing a sandplay process with an ISST member or fulfilling the required hours of consultation with an STA/ISST Member


A. Conference Attendance
1. A Member should attend at least one International ISST conference or one STA National or Regional Conference.
2. A Member may fulfill this requirement at any point during his/her training.
3. A letter or certificate from the conference sponsor verifying attendance should be forwarded to the STA Administrator (PO Box 4847, Walnut Creek, CA 94596).
B. Select a Teaching Member
1. A Member should select a Teaching Member to act as a consultant/mentor/guide to help work with the Member regarding:
a) Becoming familiar with the sandplay curriculum.
b) Preparing at least three cases for presentation in addition to the case that is the subject of the final case report.
c) Presenting at least one case at a Regional, National or International conference.
C. Teaching
1. Teach at least one introductory class on sandplay for a minimum of three hours.
D. Time Frame/Documentation
1. There is no deadline for the completion of these requirements. Individuals are encouraged to work towards meeting these requirements at a pace that is comfortable for them. (Candidates for Membership may select a Teaching Member and work on meeting these requirements at any point after applying for membership.)
2. Completed evaluation forms from those attending the case presentation or initial class are required and must be reviewed by the Teaching Member who is responsible for making a final decision that the requirements have been successfully met.
E. Once all the above requirements have been met, the Teaching Member writes a letter of recommendation for acceptance of the Member as a Teaching Member, addressed to the STA Board, and mailed to the STA Administrator (PO Box 4847, Walnut Creek, CA 94596).


A. It is expected that Members will continue their education in sandplay after becoming members.